Plastic utensils, plastic drink containers, paper napkins sealed in plastic; every meal is disposable, you can only hope that someone somewhere sorts this junk, because there is no other place where to put it other than in the trash.
Not that I am angry about those vanilla frappuccinos or falafel salads or spinach-feta wraps I consumed en masse upon arrival to the United States this week; they were all quite tasty, a welcome respite from the ubiquitous saiakesed of Eestimaa. But my revulsion to clinical plastic ware confirms the diagnosis: I've become a filthy European.
I had the misfortune of catching a glimpse of FOX News' Sean Hannity on TV while I was in search of child-friendly cartoons at the hotel. All it took was that brief exposure and the poison of the cable news channels consumed me, a rush of shit to the head.
To balance a nanosecond of FOX's Hannity, I had to watch 10 minutes of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Hannity's casus belli is liberal hypocrisy. Olbermann's is conservatives – the worst people in the world. My brain's gone soft on Estonian political discourse. America's cable news blood sport is too much. I hold the cool plastic of an iced frappuccino to my temples to soothe the pain.
Today's shouting match is about health care reform. For me, the idea that we still don't insure all our people is a stain on our American nationality, nay, our Westernness. Most other Western democracies do it. We don't. Why? Is it because we are exceptional? Just like we don't buy into the metric system or learn second languages, we don't guarantee you the right to a bed if you get sick?
Maybe we're still Anglos deep down. In the same way that our British cousins can extricate themselves from being Europeans, Americans can convince themselves that everything is fine with a system where a sizable chunk of the population isn't covered. It's your own damn fault is a resilient strain of American thought. Maybe we have not yet come to see ourselves as a country because there's always more where we came from. If we run out of healthy people, there are always more over the border. We're disposable. Use us once. Throw us away.